Civil unions and the institution of marriage

With the exception of the occasional Damn-you-to-Hell types such as Mr Owen Burke of Timaru (ODT, 7/7/04), most opponents of the Civil Unions Bill like to pretend that they are not doing it out of hostility to homosexuals (who they sometimes, rather patronizingly, claim to love as people) but out of zeal for the institution of marriage. If civil unions are allowed, marriage will be damaged, and that is why they are against the Bill. The problem with this rationale is that it is obviously false. Civil unions won’t damage marriage. And this so very obvious that it calls into question either the good sense or the good faith of those (like the Catholic Bishops and the members of the United Party) who proclaim that it is a zeal for holy matrimony rather than a dislike of a deviant minority that dictates their political conduct.
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